The European Commission (EC) has wrapped up its 2016 energy efficiency activities with the publication of the long-awaited Ecodesign Working Plan 2016–2019. The new plan describes the Commission's future working priorities with respect to energy efficiency activity, continuing the job started with the initial 2005 Ecodesign Directive and subsequent 2009–2011 and 2012–2014 working plans.
The Ecodesign Directive describes criteria and conditions for adopting European Union efficiency standards, referred to as Implementing Measures (IMs). The IMs set mandatory efficiency requirements for specific groups of energy related products (ErPs). To date, the Commission has worked on nearly 50 product groups, resulting in 28 Ecodesign IMs, 16 energy labeling regulations, and 3 product Voluntary Agreements.
The 2016–2019 plan identifies seven new product groups that have significant energy savings potential. Preparatory studies investigating the amount of energy savings possible will be conducted on electric kettles, hand dryers, elevators, building automation and control systems, solar panels and inverters, refrigerated containers, and high pressure cleaners.
While not included in the product list above, an ICT1 product study is also being proposed. The energy savings potential of ICT devices has proven to be a little more difficult to assess due to the rapidly changing nature of the market and the increased connectivity of ICT products. The Commission will launch a detailed assessment of gateways (home network equipment), mobile/smart phones, and base stations to determine possible inclusion in this working plan.
Additionally, it was determined that signage displays and wireless chargers will be addressed in the current IM revision process for televisions and external power supplies, respectively.
The EC estimates that the new products in this plan, along with existing Ecodesign products, have the potential of saving over 600 TWh of energy per year by 2030. For a summary of existing Ecodesign implementing measures, click here. For a copy of the Ecodesign Working Plan 2016–2019, click here.
1Information and Communications Technology